Long tail keywords are a very important part of your SEO strategy, especially for gaining organic visitors over the long term. Here’s a short guide on how to find your own.

Brainstorming Long Tail Keywords

The first step to discovering long tail keywords is to simply give it some thought. If you’re trying to find keywords for a market you know, this should be simple – for example, if your market is golf, golf clubs is a good place to start. So are golf gloves, golf tees, etc.

These aren’t long tail keywords in themselves, but can give you the root of a long tail keyword. Golf clubs can become left-handed golf clubs, golf tees can become plastic golf tees, and so on.

Even better are longer phrases that show buyer intent – where to buy left-handed golf clubs, for example. It can be a little hit and miss, but you should be able to generate some ideas. The next step is to refine them.

Using Software Tools to find Long Tail Keywords

From the Google keyword planner to Long Tail Pro, every piece of software needs a root word or phrase to begin with. While using “golf” as your root word may produce similar results to your ideas, the difference is that when you brainstorm to this level, a human is involved.

By using your brainstormed long tail phrases as the root keywords, you are likely to get better and deeper results. Whichever tool you use, you’ll get an indication of the cost of an ad campaign using the phrase and the potential competition.

There are many formulas around to calculate the best keywords to use, but programs like Long Tail Pro make it very easy. Each keyword is given a score – the higher the score, the harder it is to organically rank for that keyword.

As a general rule, most sites can rank for keywords that score 35 or under. If the score is 90, even the top sites in the world will be fighting to get into the top 10 search results.

The Number of Searches

Another statistic you will see is the approximate number of searches per month for the long tail keyword. Many people worry if this is a low number, but consider this – would you rather get 20 hits per month for a slightly obscure phrase that is relevant to your business, or zero hits per month on something more popular?

If you can build enough long tail keywords into your content, that 20 will multiply, and it becomes likely that you’ll rank better for a more diverse set of phrases, leading to a greatly improved amount of traffic heading to your site.

While it’s nice to get ranked for “big” keywords, it makes more sense to gain interested traffic in any way you can.

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